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Industry Headlines

Permian Basin Oil Production Continues to Increase

Thursday, 27 April 2017  |  Chris Guy

Crude oil production in the Permian Basin is expected to increase to an estimated 2.4 million barrels per day in May, based on estimates from the U.S. ...

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Industry Headlines

Metso Providing Valves for Oman Petrochemical Complex

1 DAY AGO

Metso will supply 400 Neles emergency shutdown (ESD) valves for an ethylene cracker as part of the new Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex (LPIC) Project in Sohar, Oman. The new complex will process light ends produced in Orpic's Sohar Refinery and its aromatics plant as well as optimize natural gas li...

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Curtiss-Wright Earns Safety Award for Third Year in a Row

1 DAY AGO

A Curtiss-Wright facility located in Chanhassen, MN, received a Governor’s Safety Award for superior performance in workplace safety and health as part of the Minnesota Governor’s Safety Awards. The Chanhassen site produces Exlar electric actuators and earned this award by reporting better...

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Permian Basin Oil Production Continues to Increase

4 HOURS AGO

Crude oil production in the Permian Basin is expected to increase to an estimated 2.4 million barrels per day in May, based on estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration . Between January 2016 and March 2017, oil production in the Permian Basin increased in all but three months, even as...

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East Coast Refiners Eye Texas as Alternative to North Dakota

1 DAY AGO

“Major U.S. East Coast refiners profited from railing hundreds of thousands of barrels of discounted Bakken crude to their plants daily from 2013 until 2015. But as more and more pipelines were built in North Dakota, the discount began to disappear, and so did the rail cars,” Reuters repor...

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Survey Shows Small Business Confidence Increasing

5 HOURS AGO

The second annual Allstate/ Small Business Barometer finds increasing optimism and innovation among small business owners, despite the rising cost of doing business. Nine in 10 local entrepreneurs say the benefits of owning a business outweigh the challenges. This year’s Barometer found that, ...

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Durable Goods Orders Up 0.7% in March

6 HOURS AGO

New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased $1.6 billion or 0.7% to $238.7 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced today. Economists were anticipating an increase of 1.2%. This March increase , the third consecutive, followed a 2.3% February increase.

Excluding transportatio...

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A Case for Mechanical Temperature Control

vmwnt12_beyond_valves_fig1Instrument, mechanical or project engineers may see a multitude of temperature applications cross their desks. Their immediate reaction might be to employ a temperature control loop. But could a mechanical, self-operated temperature regulator be a better solution for the valve application?

When approaching a temperature control application, the engineer usually considers:

  • The degree of accuracy needed
  • Whether the application requires feedback (Are limit switches/output signals used?)
  • Whether the application needs to be controlled through a DCS, PLC or other type of controller
  • The budget for the application.

The answer to whether a mechanical temperature regulator might be a cost-effective and reliable solution for the application depends on those considerations.

In almost any process facility, a variety of temperature control applications can be found. As with any controlled variable, both the accuracy and criticality of those applications can vary widely. Often, non-critical temperature applications become instrumented control loops even when a self-operated or mechanical regulator could provide the desired accuracy along with a substantial cost savings.


WHAT’S CONSIDERED

vmwnt12_beyond_valves_fig1Figure 1. Temperature regulatorA typical temperature control loop ­(Figure 1) requires:

  • a temperature sensor
  • wiring and conduit
  • connection to a controlling device
  • a control valve (and sometimes a positioner and/or I/P converter, and an air-filter regulator)
  • plant air

A self-contained temperature regulator requires no power, no air supply or other expensive compo­nents to operate. Representative costs based on a 1-inch line size would be:

  • Temperature transmitter: $300-1,000
  • Temperature controller: $400-1,000
  • Control valve and actuator: $1,500-3,000
  • I/P converter: $200-350
  • Air set regulator: $100-150
  • Positioner: $500-2,000
  • Control loop total: $3,000-7,500
  • Temperature regulator: $500-2,500

Although designs may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, most temperature regulators operate on the same principle. A premeasured amount of “fill” is drawn into the thermal system filling the upper diaphragm chamber, the capillary tube and most of the bulb. As the controlled temperature increases, the fill in the sensing bulb begins to vaporize and creates pressure on the sealed system. This pressure drives the valve stem, closing direct-acting valves or opening reverse-acting valves. By using different fill fluids, many different temperature control ranges can be offered for both cooling and heating applications—temperature ranges are readily available from -20° F (-29° C) to 500° F (260° C).

Applications for which these devices might be ideal include tank farms, large heat exchangers, heat exchangers with slow temperature changes, area heating/cooling (warehouse/maintenance shops) and steam tracing.

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